Remembering Francis Perkins: The Past, Present, and Future of Social Work



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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


As one of the founders of social work, Francis Perkins worked as an educator, union organizer as well as with the Settlement Houses and the Charity Organization Society. Her spirit, passion, and commitment to social justice were not without challenge throughout her life, yet unfazed she worked on behalf of the oppressed to create many of the social programs that are still in existence today. As part of the Labor Movement, Women’s Suffrage Movement and co-author of the Social Security Act of 1935, her contribution to the mission, values, and ethics of social work may be relatively unknown by modern practitioners, scholars, and students, however Perkins reminds all in the field what social work, social reform and social justice really mean. It is important to remember Francis Perkins and her contribution to social work practice, policy, education, and community work.



Elisa Kawam, Perspectives on Social Work, Frances Perkins, Social work, Perspectives on Social Work, Perkins, Frances